“Hello Mr Magpie, how’s your wife?”

If you see a lonely magpie then you’re supposed to ask where his wife is, supposedly to ward away sorrow or bad things. I don’t know where the superstition comes from, I heard it at a very young age. I would never consider myself to be a superstitious person, but for some reason this has hooked into my brain. I can’t get rid of it. Whenever I see a magpie I look around hoping to see a friend for it, and if I don’t I whisper, “Hello Mr Magpie, how’s your wife?

I wouldn’t class myself as superstitious, but I did wear a pair of my “good day socks” to my viva.

I often listen to Daft Punk while I set up for a workshop, it puts me in a happy sort of state that I find really helpful.

You should do none of these things. These are things that help or have helped me. You can call them superstition, ritual, process, practice, whatever. For the viva, think about the things that help you: a good night’s sleep, psyching yourself up, listening to music, three coffees, someone saying good luck (or not). Find what helps you.

But if you see a lonely magpie, say hi from me.